The state and public sector performance in China

Guest lecture with Professor, Senior Research Fellow Christine Wong, Oxford University


China's transition from a planned to a market economy over the last three decades has resulted in an enormous pressure on the Chinese government and the public sector in China, which now has to deliver public goods on a much larger scale than ever before. The need for public sector reform in China is therefore urgent. However, there are many difficulties and challenges associated with such reform. In China government spending is highly decentralised and social services are mainly provided by local governments with the result of huge disparities in the level of public spending and in the quality of social services. The issue of how to deal with the growing economic and social disparities is among the most difficult confronting the Chinese government in its efforts to promote a "Harmounious Society" signalling a shift from a focus on economic growth to a focus on solving the increased social tension. In recent years the central government in Beijing has taken several comprehensive initiatives in areas such as health, education and social welfare, but the implementation of such initiatives has shown to confront many barriers on lower levels of government.

With a departure point in public administration theories, Christine Wong will present and discuss the pressing issues and challenges confronting the Chinese government in its efforts to strengthen the performance of the state and the public sector in China.

Christine Wong

Christine Wong is Senior Research Fellow in Contemporary Chinese Studies in the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies and Said Business School, and Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. Before joining Oxford University, she was the Henry M. Jackson Professor of International Studies at the University of Washington's Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies (2000 - 2007). Christine Wong's current research focuses on issues of public finance and public sector reform in China. She has published widely on economic reform, fiscal reform, rural industrialization, and the problems of central-local relations in China. Among her most recent publication was "Paying for Progress in China: Public Finance, Human Welfare and Changing Patterns of Inequality" (co-edited with Vivienne Shue), Routledge, 2007.

All are welcome!

The lecture is organized by ADI in collaboration with the Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies and the Dept. of Political Science 

Jørgen Delman, Professor, China Studies, ToRS
Camilla Tenna Sørensen, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Political Science